No, it’s not about being selfish or self-centered. The “I” in this case is about taking credit for the work we produce on the job. Introverts are often too quick to share credit with the team for work we did on our own. A noble gesture, I suppose. But why do we do that? Well, it might be because we want to be seen as team players. Or we’re afraid it’ll be otherwise misinterpreted as being immodest. But I think even more so, it’s because we introverts typically don’t like to toot our own horn or bask in the limelight, so it’s a way of deflecting attention away from us and on to others. The negative impact of this, however, is that we’re often overlooked for promotions and shortchanged during performance reviews and in salary increase decisions.
My mother once told me that we all have to sell ourselves every day, especially on the job. Sounds exhausting, especially for introverts. But that’s the world we live in. So even though it may not be comfortable, try to toot your own horn the next time you do a project or create a report or come up with a great idea at work!
For more on the subject, I found a book called, Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It. It looks like it would be a good resource for both introverts and extroverts, and probably worth a read.